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Study Abroad Day One: 10 Essential Things to Do
So, your aspirations are now a reality! Getting a chance to study in a college/university abroad must be an awesome feeling. You must be super excited and thrilled. New environment! New people! And definitely new experience! Your journey begins from day one itself. But, let me tell you that your day one is not about exploring new ambience. Rather you should start your preparations and arrangements for this new stage of life. There are certain essential things you need to do as you land in a new city for your higher studies. Check them out.
1. Find a house
You didn’t pre-arrange your accommodation (though you were strongly advised to do)? Don’t worry! You might have to stay in a hotel on the first day. But you need to start searching for a good as well as reasonable housing in the vicinity of your institution. Most of the colleges or universities have hostel facilities for their students. If not, you will get plenty of options nearby. Most of the students choose dormitories. To find out a proper accommodation, you can check online where you will find quite a number of options.
Useful tip: Do not hand over any money till you get the key!
2. Check the orientation program
Every institution asks for some documents when you get admitted to the respective course. But what are they? Find it out from the college notice board or check on the official website. Some of the most common necessities are residency permit, proof of health insurance and qualification certificates. You may also be asked to pay the fees to confirm your admission. So, be ready with all the mandatory documents especially with the residency permit.
Useful tip: Communicating with the officers can be painful if you are not proficient in the native language. So try to learn some common phrases beforehand.
3. Explore the locality
It is important to know the city where you are going to spend the next four years of your life. Find out the nearest supermarket, groceries and stationery stores. Also, find out how far the cafeteria is and the general mode of transport in the city. Yes, with time, you will come to know your city better, but it is important to know the basics quickly.
Useful tip: Remember the fares of bus, tram or cab for your regular destination. It will help you to compile the monthly budget.
4. Buy a SIM of the host country
Trust me, the roaming charges can empty your pocket on the second day itself. So, getting a local number on the first day is the best thing to do. Taking a SIM of the host country will reduce your mobile bills significantly. Ask the local people and get an idea of what would be the best option for you. You can also take the assistance of your seniors who always remain updated with the offers provided by the different telecom service providers.
Useful tip: Try to buy those SIMs which have the most facilities for ISD calls.
5. Call home
Your parents must be worried ever since you departed for foreign land. After you get the SIM, call them as they must be anxious to hear from you! Tell them that you have landed safely and are absolutely fine. Always keep them updated about your whereabouts. Later, you can arrange for a Skype call with your family at least once in a week. Interacting with the family will always make you feel rejuvenated.
Useful tip: You can also use the social networking sites to contact your parents as they are much cheaper than the usual calls.
6. Get the emergency numbers
It is always better to be safe than to feel sorry! Every country has a separate set of emergency numbers, from calling the ambulance to the police force. List all those numbers in your mobile phone. In case of any emergency, these numbers will be of valuable assistance in this foreign land.
Useful tip: It is a good idea to save the number of the cab service in your phone. You may need it any time!
7. Buy the necessities
It is not a wise decision to carry all the necessities and personal products with you. Just carry the essentials which you may need during the journey. Bringing all the travel-sized products not only causes inconvenience but the airlines also charge extra bucks for it. After you reach the city, get into a store and buy all the needful stuff. From the household items to your study requisites, you will get everything.
Useful tip: If you are looking to reduce your expenses, you can use the household items leftover (good quality) by the past international students.
8. Set up a local bank account
You are going to stay there for at least three to four years. It is better to open an account in the local bank. As the exchange rates fluctuate every day, it is not a wise decision to remain dependant on it. In the bank account, you can save some money for emergency situations. Always go for the most popular banks of the country which promises the highest rate of interest.
Useful tip: Do not forget to collect the ATM card from the bank. It will be your source of money on Sunday and other holidays!
9. Introduce yourself
You are not alone. You will find countless international students who have enrolled themselves in your college or university. They all have their own language, culture and habits. Don’t get disheartened if you fail to make a friend initially. Rather enjoy your time acquainting with them. The more you will spend time with them, the more you will know them.
Useful tip: Have cordial relations with the local students. They can assist and guide you whenever you are in need.
10. Make yourself comfortable
Often the new world will make you feel a little uneasy and restless. Obviously it will not happen overnight but try to make yourself comfortable in the new environment. You can refurbish your present room as it used to be in your home. Always interact with your companions in the college as well as in your dormitory (or hostel). Plan your day and provide proportionate time to sports, recreation and obviously studies. Slowly, you will start loving your new life!
Useful tip: Hobbies are one of the brightest ways to keep oneself indulged. Painting, photography, performing arts or collecting coins or stamps, try any sort of pastime according to your preference and inclination.
Yes, all the above 10 tips are for the potential aspirants like you. Do not worry if you don’t accomplish all the above on the first day. There’s always a Day Two! So, good luck and enjoy your stay abroad. Make yourself and your parents feel proud with impressive results.
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